Disability is a subject that has long since sparked discussion, and sometimes controversy, in the media, politics and amongst citizens involved in the struggle for human rights and equality.
The success of the London Paralympic games has thrust the issue of both physical and mental disability into the spotlight once more and more significantly, has widened the forum for discussion.
Attached is a paper discussing disability in the workplace. For the purposes of the paper, the term ‘disability’ will be defined as set out in the Equality Act 2010:
A physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities.
‘Substantial’is defined as something that is more than minor or trivial and ‘long-term’ is defined as 12 months or more.
You can also be classed as disable if you have a progressive, recurring or fluctuating condition.
The Paralympics have been credited for challenging attitudes and mentalities towards how society sees disability and have enforced a greater impetus to improving accessibility, particularly in the workplace, but there is still much more to be done if we are to have a truly equal working environment.
This paper details the timeline of key events that together have contributed to, and culminated in, the Equality Act 2010 – the most up-to-date piece of legislation that covers the rights and entitlements of disabled people.
As a member state of the EU and UN, disability rights are also protected under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was ratified by the EU on 23rd December 2010.
This paper also profiles some organisations that work with disabled people and puts across their views on the barriers that disabled people face in the workplace. In addition, it uses the recent Paralympic Games as a case study to show how Heathrow Airport, arguably one of the largest working environments in the country, adapted to the needs and requirements of disabled visitors to London. Finally, it discusses Enigma’s own perspectives on the changing future of disability in the workplace.